Sermon Notes & References

Priority Encouragements

Titus 3:4-8, 12-15

November 11, 2018

A.  Encouragements

      1.  What Does This Include?

      2.  Encouragement of Differing Kinds

B.  Encouragement From Salvation       3:4-7

      1.  Doctrinal Statements Matter!

      2.  Salvation’s Progress Chart (vv 4-7)

            a.   You have all seen charts

            b.   Salvation starts with ‘S’; so does S____ 1

            c.   God’s Plan Presented (v 4)

            d.   Plan’s Progressive Steps (vv 5-6)

            e.   Plan’s Success (v 7)

C.  Encouragement To Do                    3:8

      1.  A Message for Titus

      2.  Believer’s Duties

D.  Encouragement By, For and To Others  3:12-15

      1.  The Conclusion

      2.  Titus Is Kept Busy

      3.  Fellowship Greetings


1 Titus 3:4-8, 12-15. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Priority Encouragements

 

A. Encouragements

    1. What Does This Include?

        a. this word is not found in the KJ translation of the NT

            (A)    it is found in other translations

            (B)    in those cases it renders the Greek word parakaleo,

            (C)   does that word sound familiar?

                 (1)    yes, you are right; it is the root of the term Paraclete

                 (2)    that is the Greek title for the Holy Spirit

                 (3)    the best-known rendering is that of the Comforter

            (D)   in that usage, ‘comfort’ does not have the meaning ‘console’

                 (1)    but rather, from the French, ‘comme fort’, ‘with strength’

                 (2)    that is, sharing strength with someone

                 (3)    while encourage is to put heart into someone

            (E)    so you can see the relationship of these word.

        b. there are many diverse ideas in this chapter three of Titus

            (A)    last Sunday we looked at some priority warnings

            (B)    today we will turn to the counterpart, encouragements

            (C)   and let us first notice that there are …

 

    2. Encouragement of Differing Kinds

        a. first, encouragement can relate in different ways

            (A)    to different people and at different times

            (B)    normally do not capitalise prepositions & conjunctions in titles

            (C)   but if you look at today’s outline you will see that words such as ‘from’, ‘by’, ‘for’ and ‘to’ (all prepositions) are capitalised

            (D)   to emphasise the different sources & effects of encouragement

        b. it can be given so that a person will …

            (A)    be affected in the way they think

            (B)    or act in a way they otherwise might not

            (C)   or both

        c. the time for encouragement can be while facing a difficult …

            (A)    task needing to be done quickly, carefully or successfully

            (B)    or situation, such as sickness, loss, confusion

        d. the means by which it may come can be given

            (A)    the cheering on as by a team

            (B)    someone rolling up their sleeves to work with you

            (C)   that last one is the real meaning behind Christian fellowship

        e. let us look at the various things this chapter teaches on the subject

 

B. Encouragement From Salvation                                3:4-7

        a. 4 But when the kindness of God our Saviour and His love for mankind appeared, 5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, 7 that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

 

    2. Doctrinal Statements Matter!

        a. this is the second such insertion in the letter; the first was 2:11-14

        b. these statements in this letter are not there without reason

            (A)    they are not just to fill in a blank space on the page

            (B)    but this, like the previous one, is there to bring change

            (C)   the first because God has made us His people by salvation

            (D)   this second because of God’s intended generosity unto us

        c. so, this doctrine gives us a reason

            (A)    first of all, to change our mind-set

            (B)    secondly, to spur us to action

            (C)   it lays out spiritual reality that should encourage righteousness

 

    3. Salvation’s Progress Chart                                  vv 4-7

        a. You have all seen charts

            (A)    progress charts in business office or meeting room

            (B)    those going up, encouraging (unless it is losses or absenteeism)

            (C)   to our members, I send out monthly our attendance

                 (1)    recently it has trended as most churches in North America

                 (2)    especiall small churches

            (D)   however, the Lord has graciously given to us as a body a task to be done in this town, and by His grace let us persevere in doing it

        b. Salvation starts with ‘S’ and that also stands for ‘Sin’

            (A)    verse 3 is launching pad for verse 4 and what follows

            (B)    and it describes sin

            (C)   “For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.”

            (D)   this is mankind’s situation, insoluble by politics, philosophy, social activism or whatever else may be the current fad

            (E)     ‘for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’ (Romans 3:23)

            (F)    this is the sad background canvas upon which we can draw the chart of the progress of God’s salvation:

        c. God’s Plan Presented (v 4)

            (A)    whose plan?

                 (1)    4 But when the kindness of God our Saviour and His love for mankind appeared,

                 (2)    it is that of God our Saviour

                 (3)    God or the Lord is called the Saviour or similar titles in the OT a number of times

                 (4)    but usually in the NT it is Jesus who is named as Saviour

                 (5)    but here, the reference is mainly understood to be of God the Father, for reference follows in verse 5 to the Holy Spirit, and in verse 6 to Christ our Saviour

                 (6)    so these verses are consistent with what is found elsewhere, that the plan of salvation proceeds from the Father, and is carried out together by the Trinity: Father, Son, Holy Spirit

            (B)    what motivation?

                 (1)    4 But when the kindness of God our Saviour and His love for mankind appeared,

                 (2)    we live in a cynical world (snarling, dog-like!)

                     (a)    ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch!’

                     (b)    ‘Why would God do this; what’s in it for Him?’

                     (c)    ‘I don’t believe it.!’

                 (3)    the first reason given is God’s kindliness

                     (a)    kindliness contains such things as benevolence – desiring our good –, generosity, affection for His creation

                     (b)    but as you delve into understanding this feeling of God towards us, you discover that it is rooted in the very nature of God Himself: He is kindly because it corresponds to His very Being – salvation shows us God’s character

                     (c)    that kindness was revealed in the Son

                 (4)    the second reason given is His love for mankind

                     (a)    you have heard the Greek word used here: philanthropia

                         ¤  for some companies, that is great for public relations

                         ¤  but let us not disparage human philanthropy: it can be a great power for good in this world

                         ¤  accomplishing much: physically, sometimes spiritually

                     (b)    but God’s philanthropy far exceeds that of mankind

                         ¤  you can all say John 3:16; some in several languages

                         ¤  that is the proof of God’s sincerity in His philanthropy

                         ¤  that philanthropy was revealed in the Son

        d. Plan’s Progressive Steps (v 5-6)

            (A)    5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour,

            (B)    notice in this verse that all of the actions are God-centred

                 (1)    the preceding statement in chapter 2:11-14 included man’s repentance, and by implication in the word ‘hope’, faith

                 (2)    but here, salvation in not by righteous deeds, but according to God the Father’s plan and purposes

                     (a)    it takes effect because it is according to His mercy

                     (b)    again, it is dependent upon the very nature of God Himself

                     (c)    so, that should encourage any Christian who does not feel him or her self to be worthy: it is God’s own work

                 (3)    next is the work of God the Holy Spirit

                     (a)    now, some take ‘washing of regeneration’ to mean baptism

                         ¤  but water baptism (whatever form you may believe that it should take) is a work of righteousness

                         ¤  so it cannot be of any force in bringing us salvation for that is ‘not on the basis of deeds which we have done’

                         ¤  moreover, ‘regeneration’ means being born again or being born from above, neither of which can be brought about by water baptism: it is only a symbol

                         ¤  Jesus said that it is a work of the Spirit

                     (b)    so both regeneration and renewing are works of the Holy Spirit

                         ¤  in the first case bringing a cleansed new spirit

                         ¤  in the second bringing a renewed new life

                     (c)    that this is potent and powerful is shown

                         ¤  by the Holy Spirit’s descent upon man at Pentecost

                         ¤  by the Holy Spirit’s ongoing indwelling of believers

                 (4)    finally, note that all these blessings take place through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ

            (C)   that’s a long walk we’ve just taken, but the short of it is this: because we have been saved by the grace of God, in spite of every weakness and failure we possess, we can be encouraged that He will be with us in any thing He asks for us to do for Him.

            (D)   this is demonstrated by God’s …

        e. Plan’s Success (v 7)

            (A)    that being justified by His grace we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

            (B)    consider this, because you who are trusting in Christ: you who were slaves to sin (back in verse 3) are now made according to the will and testament of Jesus Christ, on account of His death and resurrection, into heirs of God

            (C)   may that be to you an …

 

C. Encouragement To Do                                              3:8

    1. A Message for Titus

        a. ‘This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God may be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men.’

        b. these words to Titus are not an encouragement but a command

            (A)    ‘I want’ means ‘it is my will that you …’

            (B)    not just what he is to speak, but how he is to say it

            (C)   there is a reason for such confidence

            (D)   Paul uses these words, ‘trustworthy statement” (faithful word) in a number of places to express deep certainty about a fact

        c. Verses 4 to 7 give the basis for that certainty: God’s great salvation

            (A)    the same certainty expressed in the hymn, ‘But This I Know’

 

I do not know the depths of Jesus' love,

That brought Him down to earth from heaven above.

Nor why He bore the cross up Calvary

And shed His precious blood so willingly.

 

But this one thing I know: that when the crimson flow

Dropped to the earth below, it fell on me.

My eyes were opened wide, I saw Him crucified,

And knew for me He died on Calvary. 2

 

        d. Titus’ message was to pass this same truth on to Christians on the island of Crete so that they, too, be encourage in carrying out their …

 

    2. Believer’s Duties

        a. they are to be careful in such duties

            (A)    the duties themselves are expressed in general terms: good deeds

            (B)    ‘careful’ can be rendered more literally as ‘mindful’

            (C)   it involves giving thought to the matter of the deeds themselves

            (D)   and also being alert to the opportunity to carry them out

        b. for the believer, good deeds are of great value

            (A)    not in the matter of eternal salvation: that has already been settled

            (B)    the description, ‘good’ includes being fine, or even beautiful

            (C)   such things are profitable, useful, beneficial to men – both the doer and the ‘done to’

 

D. Encouragement By, For and To Others – 12-15

    1. The Conclusion

        a. the book ends with what might be thought mere house-keeping items

            (A)    but they remind Titus on the isle of Crete that he is not alone

            (B)    what an encouragement that can be

            (C)   how much better an effort we can put into something when we have another alongside us!

 

    2. Titus Is Kept Busy

        a. the relief corps were coming (12a)

            (A)    ‘When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, …’

            (B)    we’ve never encountered Artemas elsewhere, but no doubt that Titus knew him

            (C)   Paul was able to send one of these to Titus, for …

        b. Titus had a new assignment (12b)

            (A)    ‘… make every effort to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there.”

            (B)    Nicopolis was in western Greece opposite the boot of Italy

            (C)   No record of it in Acts, as either ministry in Crete, which is why the belief of this taking place between Paul’s 1st & 2nd imprisonments

        c. the itinerant teachers (13)

            (A)    ‘Diligently help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way so that nothing is lacking for them.’

            (B)    whether Zenas was a civil lawyer or one trained in Mosaic Law is not said: his accompanying Apollos suggest the latter, for Apollos was one known for his training in the OT Scriptures

            (C)   there is a very gentle request behind the obvious words – like most Christian workers, these needed some financial & similar help

        d. that brings us to the auxiliary (14)

            (A)    some churches have had a ‘Ladies Auxiliary’; this open to all

            (B)    ‘And let our people also learn to engage in good deeds to meet pressing needs, that they may not be unfruitful.’

            (C)   do you want some guidance in good deeds?

            (D)   well here is a care in point: help out Zenas & Apollos!

            (E)    do we sometimes pray, ‘Show us your will, O God’, when the need is crying out in front of us what to do?

 

    3. Fellowship Greetings

        a. of believers – (15a)

            (A)    ‘All who are with me greet you. Greet those who love us in the faith.’

            (B)    here is another encouragement

            (C)   we may be only a few in this room this morning, or even when every one is able to be out: but we are part of an innumerable company of believers spread across this world

        b. of God

            (A)    ‘Grace be with you all.’

            (B)    as in his other letters, it is God’s grace that is in view

            (C)   not that His grace might not be with us, but the assurance of the apostle that this was always the case

        c. all these things, then should be encouragements to us as God’s children


Footnotes

Endnotes

1

© 2018 by Garth Hutchinson, Faith Fellowship Baptist Church of Aurora (Ontario): may be distributed or quoted freely, only let this be done to the glory “of the great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ” (Titus ii.13). Except as noted otherwise, quotations are from the New American Standard version, used by permission. Various other English versions of the Holy Bible may be used in this sermon. Explanatory additions to the Bible text are shown in [braces]. Version identifiers are:

 

              AV          Authorized (King James) Version of 1769

              NAS        New American Standard version © 1960, 1995 The Lockman Foundation (usually the 1995 edition)

              NIV         New International Version © 1984 by the International Bible Society

              NKJV              New King James Version © 1979 Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers

       NRSV             New Revised Standard Version © 1989 Division of Christian Education of national Council of Churches of Christ

       JBP         The New Testament in Modern English, J. B. Phillips, Geoffrey Bles Ltd

       UBS        Greek text of the United Bible Societies; particularly that published in 1954 by The British and Foreign Bible Society

       WEY               The New Testament in Modern Speech © 1902, 1912 R. F. Weymouth

 

Some of the commentaries and resources used in the preparation of this message are identified as follow:

 

       Barnes –  Notes on the New Testament by Alfred E. Barnes

       Calvin –   Commentaries on the Bible, by Jean Calvin; translated into English & published in the Online Bible.

       EB   -      The Expositor’s Bible, edited by Sir William Robertson Nicoll, C.H., D.D., LL.D., 1903

       EBC             The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, © 1986 Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 49530, MI:

       EGT             The Expositor’s Greek Testament, Hodder & Stoughton; 1903

       Gill       Exposition of the Old Testament, Exposition of the New Testament, by John Gill, D.D.

       JFB  -      Commentary on the Old and New Testaments, Jamieson, Fausset & Brown; S. S. Scranton & Co. 1872

       Kerux –   The sermon & illustration data base compiled by Rev. David Holwick at the web-site, www.holwick.com.

       RWP             Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament, by Dr. A. T. Robertson

2

By C. Austin Miles (1868-1946), from Favorites Volume Two, © 1931 by Hall-Mack Co.